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Lee Thompson Young

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 Lee Thompson Young (February 1, 1984 – August 19, 2013) was an American actor who portrayed Barry Frost in the TV series, Rizzoli & Isles. He is perhaps best known for his teenage role as the title character on the Disney Channel television series The Famous Jett Jackson. Another notable role is the recurring role of Cyborg in the CW series Smallville.

Early life

Young was born in Columbia, South Carolina, the son of Velma (née Love) and Tommy Scott Young. He was in the second grade when his parents' marriage ended, and he went to live with his mother. At age ten, he portrayed Martin Luther King in a play called A Night of Stars and Dreams by Dwight Woods, and the Phillis Wheatley Repertory Theater of Greenville, South Carolina. It was then that Young decided he wanted to become an actor.

Career

Young moved to New York City in June 1996, but it was not until the next year that he auditioned for the part of Jett Jackson in The Famous Jett Jackson. He filmed the pilot and found out in June 1998 from the Disney Channel that the show had been picked up; it later went on to become a Disney Channel Original Movie in June 2001. Young also starred in Johnny Tsunami (1999), another Disney Channel Original Movie, as Sam Sterling. The movie was successful, but he did not reprise the role in the sequel, Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board (2007).

After the cancellation of The Famous Jett Jackson, Young had guest spots in the CBS series The Guardian. He also had a part in the movie Friday Night Lights (2004), portraying Chris Comer, and a part in the Jamie Foxx movie Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004). Lee appeared on UPN's TV drama series South Beach, and he portrayed Victor Stone (known in DC Comics as Cyborg) in a fifth season episode of the television series Smallville, in 2006; which character he reprised in the Season Six episode "Justice" (airdate January 18, 2007), and again in the Season Nine finale "Salvation" (airdate May 14, 2010).

Young appeared in the feature film Akeelah and the Bee (2006), playing Akeelah's brother Devon. He played National Guard rookie, Delmar, in The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007). In 2009, Young played a cocky surgical intern in the hit comedy show Scrubs. It is revealed that his character was an overweight child. The character becomes involved in a romance with one of the medical interns.

Young played the role of Al Gough, an FBI agent, in the ABC television drama FlashForward. He was written off the show in episode 7, when his character committed suicide to prevent the death of an innocent civilian. His last acting role was playing Barry Frost, partner of Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) on the TNT drama Rizzoli & Isles, and he made an appearance on the Fox drama The Good Guys as the brother and business partner of an arms dealer.

Personal life

Young graduated with Honors from the University of Southern California, where he majored in Cinematic Arts and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Young enjoyed writing and wrote the screenplay for the 2007 short film Mano.

Death

On August 19, 2013, Young failed to show up for filming an episode of Rizzoli & Isles. Police were called to do a well-being check on him at his Los Angeles apartment, where he was found dead. His manager confirmed the actor took his own life. Police confirmed cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Young had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, for which he had been taking medication, and had been suffering from depression before his death.

After funeral services at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Young was interred at Lakeview Memorial Garden, York, South Carolina. A three-hour memorial service was held on the Paramount Studios lot.

Young's family launched the Lee Thompson Young Foundation in an effort to help remove the stigma surrounding mental illness.

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